Conquering Achilles Pain: 5 Effective Strategies to Mastering Your Management

Achilles tendon pain, a prevalent issue among athletes and physically active adults, is a discomfort or tightening pain in the Achilles tendon due to overuse, inflammation or injury. Usually this comes about due to excessive strain on the tendon without adequate time to heal from stimulus like running or intense bouts of exercise loading. If you're grappling with this discomfort, we're here to offer you effective strategies to mitigate pain and expedite healing.

With our combined 30 years of experience in Physiotherapy and Podiatry, we've supported countless individuals, helping them transition from frustration and inactivity to experiencing relief and reclaiming their mobility.

These 5 tips are daily techniques we employ for successful recovery.

1. Curtail Physical Activity Immediately

If you begin experiencing recurring or significant Achilles tendon pain, particularly in the morning, it's crucial to immediately reduce your physical activity. Extended or intense physical exertion may further inflame the affected tendon, intensifying pain or prolonging recovery time. Start with going for walks where you might have run and if this doesn't slow things down, consider full rest or even crutches if the pain is unmanageable.

2. Utilize Supportive Devices and Footwear

To alleviate strain on the affected tendon, consider using strategies like taping, supportive devices like The Severs Sleeve or supportive footwear prescribed by a Podiatrist. Although it might seem like a significant adjustment initially, it assists in controlling the exacerbating factors earlier, enabling the inflamed tendon to rest, recover more quickly, and begin rehabilitation sooner.

3. Regularly Apply Ice and Anti-inflammatory Treatments

Frequent use of ice packs for 20 minutes at a time, 4-5 times a day, combined with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, can greatly reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. However, always consult your healthcare provider before starting any medication to ensure it's appropriate and safe for you.

4. No Immediate Stretching - Instead try Massage, Acupressure and Dry Needling

Stretching has actually been shown to only be a short term pain reliever and a long term inhibitor. Imagine an overstretched elastic band. Stretching doesn't make it recoil more. Instead try going for a massage or having a Physiotherapist or Podiatrist do acupressure or dry needling to your calves and soleus muscles. This can assist in decreasing muscle and fascial tone, and reduce symptoms while you recover.

5. Start With This Easy Exercise

You can start this at any time. Especially when you have had a little bit of rest. The benefit is, you can do it anywhere. Simply go on to your toes, set a timer and try to get to 45 seconds. It's called an isometric calf raise. Try doing it 3-5 times a day with at least 2 hours break between each rep. Progressions for this protocol can be found Here!

    By strictly adhering to these 5 tips, you can put yourself in an optimal healing mode and prepare for a swift return to your peak physical performance. Remember to consult a professional if you struggle to get on top of things or they are already feeling a little out of control. 

    From Pain to Performance

    The Orthopaedic Sleeve Society (TOSS)

    The Severs Sleeve
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